A Net Control Station, commonly referred to as NCS, is a radio net operator who controls the traffic and maintains discipline during a directed net. You can say that the job of an NCS is like that of a moderator in a conference call. Let us look at a few key points of the job.
What is the objective of the NCS?
The objective of the NCS is to make sure that the network operates as smoothly as possible. One must aim for optimum efficiency, smooth flow of traffic, and effective communication.
There are two types of radio net: a formal or directed net and an informal net. In a formal net, the NCS handles the operation of a given session, opening the session, allowing participants access to join in, and maintaining a record of everything. In an informal net, there may be a net control station, but with relaxed protocols.
A net manager is the one who is in charge of overall operations, who assigns net control stations and schedules nets.
What are the responsibilities of the NCS?
The Net Control Station allows participants access to a radio net. NCS monitors the traffic during the net with the aim of ensuring optimum efficiency. The NCS selects net frequency and maintains frequency accuracy.
Making sure that there is decorum and discipline between participants is an important part of the job. The operator must also check whether all standard procedures are being followed or not.
The NCS is also tasked with keeping a net log, which documents all transmissions that have taken place during any net.
The NCS appoints Alternate Net Control Stations (ANCS) for each net, who assists the NCS in his tasks and maintains a duplicate net log.
What makes a good NCS operator?
It is essential that one has a clear voice while speaking. Fluency in a language is a must. Otherwise, it may lead to miscommunication and/or misunderstanding. Sound hearing is equally important in order to do a good job as an NCS operator.
Since it is a stressful job, the key is to keep calm and carry on. A collected demeanor and the ability to work under pressure are essential. During rising traffic, these qualities will be tried and tested.
Since maintaining a detailed net log is one of the functions of the NCS, the ability to listen, comprehend, and write down clearly what you have heard is important. A good operator must be able to keep a clear head at all times while working in a chaotic environment.
To sum up
Following net protocol and making sure participants do the same makes for efficient radio nets. The NCS operates as the peacemaker during arguments or tensed situations. A courteous and professional manner is part of the job.
The success of a network depends on the NCS. It relies on how efficiently an NCS operator is able to do his job. Working in a noisy and stressful environment, it requires an ear and an eye for detail.